So, what's this thing I have with train themed films?
I took my first cross-country train ride, on an Amtrak train, from Los Angeles, Ca to Maryland, about 10 years ago. Not until I boarded the train, did I remember I was claustrophobic. I got through it and managed to have a memorable 3-day trip traveling through parts of the US I had never seen before, like Alberquerue NM. In my mind, the windows on the train opened the way I saw them in the Western flicks of "The Wild Wild West", "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke" and "Little House On The Prarie." My mother would allow me to skip school and stay home with her to watch our favorite western tv shows. Westerns and trains have been a long time fascination of mine.
Today, I went to see my third train-themed film, 15:17 Paris, based on actual events of three Americans who discover a terrorist plot aboard a train while backpacking through Europe. While on a train ride traveling from Amsterdam to France - they find themselves in a hostile terrorist take over.
I fell in love all over again with the scenery of Venice, Italy, Germany and Amsterdam.
This film did not begin for me, until nearly 25 minutes into it. I nearly got up, twice, to request a refund or another ticket to see something else. It was due either to the popcorn, laziness or a strong feeling that this was something I NEEDED to see, that kept me in my seat. So, I stayed. The acting, in the beginning, with the three main characters, as middle-school aged kids, were quite weak. I felt as If I were watching actors acting. The scenes and the chemistry between the three BFF's didn't feel real and authentic. It felt very forced. I had no idea this was a faith-based film as well. What initially captured my attention from the previews of this film, is that it took place on a train.
While watching this movie, I couldn't help but think about making a connecting to WHY I liked train themed films, to why I was watching this film, at this time, until I allowed myself to trace my love and fascination with trains to my relationship with my father. My father worked at Union Pacific Rail Road, when I was a young girl. He would bring home a small construction hard hat and the little union pacific rail road teddy bear dressed in those jean striped overalls. I think my favorite gift from his job, was the Union Pacific Rail Road pins and the toy trains. All over his apartment walls, were Union Pacific Railroad calendars. That's where my fascination with trains began.
It wasn't until I became an adult, did I come to understand that it must've taken a man of both faith and determination to land a job at such a large and reputable company, with only a grade school education. My father was a self-taught man. He taught himself to read. He also obtained his GED, well within his forties, by watching GED curriculum courses on television.
Men on a train!
What's the deal with all of the train themed movies coming out towards the tail end of 2017 going into 2018? First there was "Murder on the Orient Express" starring: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeifer. While this film lacked action and those steamy over the top, darn near pornographic love scenes; it did however make up for it with a strong dialogue-driven story line and impeccable acting. Ofcourse I had to support my boyfriend and future first husband and father of my children, in my next life, Liam Neeson in the "Commuter." I only went and saw this film, because I was suffering from (SSA) severe separtion anxiety from my Liam. Some thought it slightly unbelievable that a man his age could pull off those fight scenes. I disagree. Liam is talented, believable, thoughtful in his acting and in top top physical shape. Outside of the weak plot - I give this film an A-minus. Last but not least, there is "15:17 to Paris" with no well known actors; only a brilliant and timeless act and director: Mr. Clint Eastwood. I love Clint Eastwood as an actor, because he is who my mother loves. She was a huge fan of those "Dirty Harry" films and "Fistful Of Dollars."
What's the lesson
Often times we are drawn to a person, job, a situation, a thing, city or a movie based on the exterior. We sometimes make decisions based on how it looks. It's not until we unwrap it, take a look inside, ask him/her or it some specific questions and see how it makes us fee; do we understand. You just might have to take a couple hours out of your day to have an experience, in order to get what you need vs what you want.
"Life is full of happiness and tears; be strong and have faith." Kareena Kapoor Khan
My faith has become that much stronger after watching 15:17 Paris. My patience has also increased. The ability to remember and focus on the good memories I cherish about my father will forever be etched into my memory bank.
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